On Thursday, both Luke Winters and Nina O’Brien earned the title of Alpine combined National Champion in Sugarloaf, Maine. On Sunday, the pair did it again, this time in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, host of the U.S. National Championship tech series. In addition to her titles in the combined and in the slalom, O’Brien defended her title in the super-G, once again earning the distinction of super-G National Champion.

Both athletes capitalized on strong leads in the first run to seize the overall win in the second. O’Brien was untouchable, leading second-place finisher, Paula Moltzan, by 2.10 seconds in her final combined time. Winters led Team America’s Garret Driller by an impressive 0.89 seconds to take the win.

“It feels good to get two National Championships, so far,” said Winters. “A little unexpected in the combined, but slalom has been my strong suit all season so I was looking forward to today’s race. Running 30th and seeing the green light and the crowd cheering is something that never gets old. Now on to Tuesday where I will try to get my third title in the Giant Slalom.”

Luke Winters skis to his second National Championship of the week on Sunday in Waterville Valley. Photo © Chris Cohen Images // @chris.cohen.images

Driller, who won the parallel slalom title on Saturday, had to jump five positions in the standings in order to come up with a second place finish. He tied Winters for the fastest time in the second run at 51.90, surpassing Redneck Racing’s, Sandy Vietze by three hundredths. Vietze rounded out the podium in third.

On the women’s side, Moltzan was closely trailed by U.S. Ski and Snowboard’s, Tricia Mangan, who finished just nine hundredths off of Moltzan and had to settle for third. Emma Hall, an up and coming American in the slalom, jumped from 28th position into seventh, when she skied the second-fastest second run of the bunch. Moltzan and Mangan maintained their top positions by skiing strong second runs, holding off advances from the veteran, Resi Stiegler. This is Stiegler’s first top ten finish in a race since returning from injury this season.

“The atmosphere was great, it is so fun to see so many friends in one place having such a good time,” said Moltzan. “It is a great end to a pretty awesome season, excited to see what happens next year!”

World Junior slalom silver-medalist, Ben Ritchie, and World Cup regular, Brian McLaughlin, did not finish their first runs on the men’s side. AJ Hurt, another common name amongst the ranks of the developing team, also did not finish her first run.

Next up, the women will race in the giant slalom on Monday, and the men will race in the giant slalom on Tuesday, concluding the competition season for the participating American and Canadian athletes.

Paula Moltzan, Nina O’Brien, and Tricia Mangan on the slalom podium at the 2019 Waterville National Championships.
Photo: U.S. Ski & Snowboard  © Chris Cohen Images // @chris.cohen.images

For more photos from Sunday’s event, click here.

Men’s Slalom Top 10

  1. Luke Winters (USA): 1:44.07
  2. Garret Driller (USA): +0.89
  3. Sandy Vietze (USA): +0.92
  4. Alex Leever (USA): +1.29
  5. Jimmy Krupka (USA): +1.33
  6. Jett Seymour (USA): +1.48
  7. Tim Gavett (USA): +1.83
  8. Drew Duffy (USA): +1.84
  9. Erik Arvidsson (USA): +1.85
  10. Phil Brown (CAN): +2.29

For full results, please click here.

Women’s Slalom Top 10

  1. Nina O’Brien (USA): 1:55.25
  2. Paula Moltzan (USA): +2.10
  3. Patricia Mangan (USA): +2.19
  4. Resi Stiegler (USA): +2.47
  5. Lila Lapanja (USA): +3.04
  6. Keely Cashman (USA): +3.45
  7. Emma Hall (USA): +3.50
  8. Stephanie Currie (CAN): +3.94
  9. Caroline Jones (USA): +3.97
  10. Emma Woodhouse (CAN): +4.17

For full results, please click here. 

Article Tags: Alpine, Premium, Premium NCAA / Continental Cup, Top Rotator

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Mackenzie Moran
Staff Writer
- Born and raised in Metro-Detroit, Michigan, Mackenzie grew up ski racing all over the Mitten.​ When s​he moved out west in search of mountains, she attended the University of Oregon, where she achieved degrees in Journalism and Environmental Science. She raced USCSA and was captain of the UO Alpine Ski Team. She currently resides in Salt Lake City and serves as the Women's World Cup Staff Writer for Ski Racing Media.
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